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Nothing Short of a Miracle

miracle_1When it comes to keeping my house clean, I am self-diagnosed Obsessive Compulsive. Household dust and dirt are my mortal enemies. Thus, I still remember the day, almost 10 years ago, while sitting at my glass kitchen table (a nightmare to keep clean, and free of streaks, and fingerprints), that I discovered Miracle Cloths.

Reading The Arizona Republic I came across an article extolling the virtues of a new “miracle” cleaning cloth. I read how it was originally developed by NASA as a way to keep dust out of the intricate components of the Space Shuttle. It could be used for dusting, as well as a myriad of household cleaning chores, all without chemicals. I immediately reasoned that if it was good enough for NASA, surely it was good enough for my house! Owning a black baby grand piano that was forever laden with dust and living in a state where dust storms are more common than rainstorms, I set about acquiring Miracle Cloths.

Technically, a Miracle Cloth is a soft micro-fiber cleaning cloth with a dense loop-and-rib weave that can be used to either scrub away grime or make dusting a breeze.

miracle_4What makes a micro-fiber cleaning cloth so great? Let’s begin by stating that in today’s eco-friendly world, this is a rag that cleans like magic with just water. No harmful chemicals are necessary. In fact, in some regards chemicals are a micro-fiber cloth’s worst enemy. Fabric softeners will ruin the ability of the cloth to attract dust. Harsh bleaches will destroy the very fibers that give it strength and scrubbing power. My experience has been a sink of hot water and a small amount of pure Ivory dish soap are all I need for most every cleaning job.

For years, I have used the cloths and hot soapy water on numerous granite or cultured marble countertops, stovetops, mirrors, glass tables, windows, shower doors, bathroom sinks, tubs and more. I even owned a house where we had mirrored backsplashes in the kitchen. On more than one occasion I was asked how I kept them so clean and streak-free in an environment notorious for grease. My constant answer: a micro-fiber cloth and hot soapy water!

I will confess, however, to using Soft-Scrub with my cloth in the bathroom. A little soft-scrub on my cloth and the lime deposits on my glass shower doors melt away, bathtub grime dissolves and the mirrors, sticky from excess hairspray, also come clean as a whistle!

Sometimes, I use one cloth to clean and another to dry. It makes fast work on all surfaces, inside and outside the house, and even in the car.

Of course, the cloths are great for dusting too! My personal preference is to use a slightly damp cloth, but dry cloths are champions as well. The micro-fiber cloth catches and traps the dust and dirt particles in its fibers, as opposed to a standard cloth that simply spreads them from place to place. Once again, this is done without any chemicals such as dust sprays. Micro-fiber cloths naturally dust and polish wood, as well as any other surface in your home.

Are there drawbacks? Yes, a few; but I believe them to be only “cautions.”

miracle_5First, you must carefully launder your micro-fiber cloths. You cannot wash them with your regular laundry, as they will attract and hold the lint from your clothes, losing their effectiveness. Additionally, as mentioned before, fabric softener or softener sheets will also render them ineffective. I found that it works best to purchase an ample supply of cloths in order to make a laundry load of just micro-fiber cloths.

Secondly, the light-colored cloths will hold the dirt so well that they stain easily and look ugly after a few uses. The dark-colored cloths, however, have a tendency to bleed at first. This was problematic when I used a new one to clean a pet stain on a light colored carpet. To resolve this I found it best to keep a mixture of both light and dark cloths on hand.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, they must be rinsed out frequently, sometimes making it necessary to use more than one, especially if your cleaning job is particularly large or greasy. Micro-fiber cloths grab the dirt so tightly that when used to clean up something greasy, the grease can remain in the fibers, preventing a clean, streak-free shine. When this happens, I simply return to my sink of hot soapy water and give a quick scrub to the cloths, wring them out, then continue my cleaning job to perfection. Again, for a big job such as windows, using two or three cloths may work best.

In over 10 years, I have never strayed from my Miracle Cloths. I have recommended them to friends and family alike, and all have become converts. If you want a rag that makes quick work of dust and household grime, shines glass and chrome, reduce chemical use and saves you money, I highly recommend micro-fiber cloths.

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